In part 1 of my birth story (Click here to read), I left off right as the nurse midwife broke my water. The actual breaking of the water was quick and fairly pain free, but almost immediately afterwards, the contractions became very painful. When she broke my water, I was about 3-4 centimeters dilated, but within about an hour, I was in full-blown labor. The contractions were less than one minute apart, and I couldn’t think about anything else but breathing through them.
Mr. Handsome was a strong rock through it all. He encouraged me through every contraction and reminded me to breathe. I tried to stay calm, but it sure wasn’t easy. Because I was hooked up to an IV pumping pitocin into my body, I spent most of the time just standing by the hospital bed. I was so overwhelmed by the pain that I couldn’t even begin to think about trying other positions.
My goal was to do a natural birth without any pain medications. In general, I try to avoid drugs whenever possible, and I didn’t want to take on the risks associated with an epidural. After a few hours of intense contractions, I was sure it wouldn’t be long before the baby arrived. Unfortunately, both the nurse and the nurse midwife told me it would likely be another several hours. At that point, I hadn’t eaten in almost 24 hours and was completely exhausted. The midwife suggested that I consider an epidural so I could catch some sleep and my body could relax and dilate while I rested.
It was honestly very difficult to make such a big decision while I was in so much pain, but I ended up accepting the epidural. Within 20 minutes, the nurse anesthetist had arrived and I had signed the paperwork. The insertion of the epidural was painful and created an odd sensation, but within minutes, my body was relaxed, and I was able to lie down….